This year, CIRSE, in collaboration with IMAGING Management, bring you an exclusive preview of some of the highlights of the coming congress. The CIRSE annual meeting has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, introducing a more varied and interactive programme. Although the congress has managed to encompass the vast spectrum of IR procedures, this increased quantity has not been at the cost of quality. Hands-on workshops and interactive discussions allow for in-depth analysis of individual topics, with small groups engaging in lively and often practical learning.
This year's programme features new, interactive session formats such as the new hot topics symposia, where structured debate is followed by a panel discussion, allowing a thorough appraisal of controversial subjects. The inaugural session debuts with a look at "Is CCSVI a real entity? Should we treat MS patients with CCSVI by venoplasty?" (Sunday, 14:30), followed on Tuesday by "Image-guided ablation replaces surgery in resectable liver tumours" (Tuesday, 13:00).
Following a successful reception at last year's CIRSE, the European Board of Interventional Radiology (EBIR) will once again offer more than 50 young IRs the chance to certify their expertise. An improved student programme is offered, with the aim of increasing awareness of IR among undergrads.
Another important element of CIRSE is discussion of fledgling therapies. "Ongoing research in IR" (Saturday, 11:30) will showcase many promising new areas of investigation such as treatment of chronic diseases via intra-arterial delivery of stem cells, the applications of anti-angiogenic drugs, resorbable microspheres and bioabsorbable and cell-coated stents, as well as the latest breakthroughs in islet cell transplantation.
Treating Resistant Hypertension
Another important development in IR is the use of "Renal denervation for resistant hypertension" (Monday, 10:00). Hypertension is prevalent among the adult population, and is a major cause of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Medical management is not always sufficient, and it has been suggested that selective denervation of the renal artery could help regulate blood pressure in such patients. This session addresses the theory behind the procedure, tools and basic techniques, as well as an in-depth look at the results of trials and studies into this promising therapy.
Chronic Back Pain
There can be many causes of chronic back pain, and IR now provides solutions to many of these. IR's range of treatments extend well beyond treating vertebral fractures, as will be demonstrated during "Percutaneous treatment of chronic back pain" (Wednesday, 08:30). Topics under discussion include the role of MR imaging in back pain, and IR solutions to sciatic back pain, facet joint syndrome and sacroiliac joint syndrome.
CIRSE 2011 will celebrate the achievements of luminaries in the field through honorary lectures from renowned experts. The prestigious Gruentzig Lecture will be delivered by Prof. Jonathan Moss (Sunday, 15:30), current President of the British Society of Interventional Radiology. His lecture, "Evidence-based Interventional Radiology – not how, but if and when" will address the need for continuing to gather solid data on minimally invasive therapies. Prof. Małgorzata Szczerbo-Trojanowska from Lublin, Poland, will deliver the honorary Roesch Lecture (Tuesday, 14:00) on the latest developments in "Evidence-based medicine and carotid stenosis treatment".
A World of Science Waiting
The sessions highlighted above are but a small sample of what CIRSE 2011 has to offer. A world of science awaits attendees, in both new and established medical fields. Detailed coverage of the extensive oncology, neurology and diabetes sessions are featured in the pages of this journal in a special focus section, on pages 35 – 43, and the full programme can be found on the CIRSE website, www.cirse.org. Minimally invasive therapy will play a key role in the future of medicine, and the CIRSE annual meeting is a good place to find out why.
We hope you will join us in Munich on September 10th for the opening ceremony!